I came home from Vietnam in 1970 feeling like little more than a wild animal. Addicted to heroin and with no direction in life, I didn't even have a clue what the questions were. I had been raised in Seattle, and when I got home, Boeing was laying off five thousand workers per week, people with Ph.D.'s were pumping gas, and the job market was virtually nonexistent.
I kicked the heroin, but not drugs entirely. Later that year, while under a massive dose of LSD in Long Beach, California, I was approached on the street by a man named Brother Jack, who looked me right in the eyes and said, "Jesus loves you." I immediately knew this to be unequivocally true. Nothing inside of me had any argument. Several days later, I looked this man up and my spiritual journey began.
Jack was from a strongly Pentecostal background and had been through much of what I'd been through, but he was older and had been forgiven much. The love he had for his brothers and sisters was palpable and made a lasting impression on me. My life began to change, and I found myself going to a Bible college in Costa Mesa. At first all was well, but I had questions as I studied the Bible that no one at the college could answer; they told me I was flirting with Satan by asking those sorts of questions. They were afraid, and yet I kept reading Jesus' watchword, "Fear not."
So I left the school and moved north to Sonoma, where my cousin's ex-wife, Patricia, was caretaker of the Religion of Jesus Church. The first evening my cousin took me over there, Patricia called me into a little side room and said she had a book that she was certain would interest me. She opened The Urantia Book to page 21, said "Start here," and left the room. When I saw the title of the page, "The Universal Father," I prayed for God to keep me from harm, and began reading. By the time I'd finished the page, I could hardly see through the tears that were falling. Thus began my relationship with this marvelous book.
That was in 1975, and though I was to go through a whole lot of self-induced misery and addiction for another sixteen years, God never left me. And, except for having my Urantia Book stolen once in 1980, I have always had a copy in my living room. Best of all, I had the privilege of introducing it to my wife when we started dating, and she is still reading it. The book has served to enhance my personal relationship with God, and I do not entertain the slightest doubt that it is exactly what it says it is.